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November 28, 2012

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How to Operate Your Brain: A User Manual by Timothy Leary (1993)
Dan Colman, Open Culture, November 28, 2012.

I met Tomothy Leary in 1984. He was doing a university tour and I was one of the student journalists at the time who interviewed him. His new updated slogan at the time was "Turn on, tine in, boot the mind." I agreed with the message - and with the content of this video (you dowant to watch it, it's very good) but at the time I also remember thinking his running shoes didn't match his white suit, and that he seemed to be very burned out and unclear. This video - created almost ten years later - seems a lot sharper. "Let the waves of chaos flow over your mind..." Good advice.

"The aim of human life is to know thyself. Think for yourself. Question authority. Think with your friends. Create, create new realities. Philosophy is a team sport. Philosophy is the ultimate, the ultimate aphrodisiac pleasure. Learning how to operate your brain, learning how to operate your mind, learning how to redesign chaos." I should do some videos like this, I really should. "Who controls your eyeballs controls your mind... imprinting values, imprinting messages... who controls your screens controls the programs in your mind."

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Firefox update integrates Facebook Messenger
Andrew Laughlin, Digital Spy, November 28, 2012.

It took me a bit to notice, but all of a sudden there's a 'Facebook Messenger' window attached to Firefox. I didn't ask for it (so far as I can recall) - it appears to have appeared in the latest Firefox update. I will say, this is something I do not want (and think of the privacy implications). There's no obvious way to get rid of it - it doesn't appear in the extensions or plug-ins lists. I eventually found out how to disable it in the Mozilla help pages. You have to locate the 'Facebook' button on your toolbar (it's a little tiny 'F' at the far right) and 'remove Facebook Messenger'. Though, personally, I'm not so sure it's gone.... See also this item on WebMonkey. (It's interesting to contemplate this strategy while watching the Leary video (above)).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Privacy Issues]

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Zimmerman, Barry J. & Schunk, Dale H. (2011) Handbook of Self-Regulation of Learning and Performance.
Reviewed by Susan Farber, Education Review, November 28, 2012.

How do people regulate their own learning? As this revciew notes, "The concept of self-regulation of learning (SRL) and performance has been the focus of Barry Zimmerman’s and Dale Schunk’s research since the 1980s." This review summarizes the sixth in a series of volumes on SRL, this one invertigating the impact of SRL and its impact on performance. It provides an overview of the history of SRL, and so is an important reference for contemporary approaches to self-managed learning, such as MOOCs. "SRL is a process where individuals create self-oriented feedback loops to monitor their effectiveness in completing a task and adapt accordingly to experience success." As the reviewer notes, "Despite the complexity of these strategies and their impact on performance and self-efficacy/beliefs, there remains considerable evidence of how embedding opportunities to develop SRL strategies over time can benefit students academically and personally." There's a lot here, so read this review slowly and carefully - and then, if you have the budget for it (unlike me), get the book. (Image: Erin Peters)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Research, Experience, Academia]

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Collective Intelligence
Thomas W. Malone, Edge, November 28, 2012.

Description of a research project studying copllective intelligence. The author's team has "collected over 200 examples of interesting cases of collective intelligence ... things like Google, Wikipedia, InnoCentive, the community that developed the Linux open source operating system, et cetera." They are looking "for the design patterns that come up over and over in those different examples." They are calling these patterns "genes", which they're not. They're just patterns - they're epiphenomenal, not causal. "We've identified so far about 19 of these design patterns—or genes—that occur over and over in these different examples," writes Thomas W. Malone. But the patterns they've found aren't really patterns of collective intelligence, it seems to me. Malone lists the 'crowd gene' and the 'hierarchy gene' as examples. It seems to me they're mapping surface features (like 'perceptiveness' and 'proportion of women') rather than structural features.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Operating Systems, Research, Google, Open Source, Wikipedia]

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If you think a personal learning network is an echo chamber you’ve missed the point.
Lisa Nielsen, The Innovative Educator, November 28, 2012.

At first I thought this post was one of those fictions used to make a point, but it appears to be real. A teacher blogger, Crystal Kirch, posted that her students "don't know how to learn. They don't know how to succeed. And, it doesn't seem like they care to change any of that." She then deleted all comments on the post disagreeing with her position, including one that said simply "Perhaps a more accurate statement is that the children don't know how to learn the way you want them to learn." Lisa Nielson asks, "What's the point of developing a network of people who share our concerns and care about our issues if a differing opinion gets a level of push-back akin to sticking fingers in our ears and singing the Flintstones' theme song?" (It's worth noting that in the comments many people complain that Nielsen should not be 'calling out' a specific individual - but I think that unless you name names, the post may as well be fiction).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs, Networks]

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The emperor's old clothes
Alastair Creelman, The corridor of uncertainty, November 28, 2012.

This post contains a bit of an odd argument which ought to be bhighlighted. It cites with approval G. Kim Blank in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Let's kill the term paper. "Does anyone ever need to write essays at work or carry out a task without access to information or colleagues?" asks Alastair Creelman. OK, let's say no. Then what do we need? "The way forward, according to Blank, lies in reading, discussing and summarising examples of good academic writing." OK, welll I can agree with that. But, that's a term paper! They're not fiction, you know. They're not random ungrounded flights of fancy and opinion. Term papers are supposed to put together some summaries of well-written academic articles in such a way as to produce an inference or observation from them.Related: Utne Reader on why essays are so boring these days.

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Emerging new roles for learning and performance professionals
Jane Hart, Learning in the Social Workplace, November 28, 2012.

Jane Hart links to and displays this map of emerging new roles for learning and performance professionals (good thing, too, because you have to sign up to see the diagram on the Learning & Performance Institute's site). I have covered this subject before, of course, but never did produce a nifty diagram like this. Hart's message is the same as my own, and it deserves to be underlined: "Clearly not all learning professionals will need to have all the skills in all the roles, and some may well not have any desire to get involved in some of the new activities, so I think that it may well now be time for people to think about specializing in areas of interest." See also: self-learning in the workplace, which is an extension of the diagram.

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Disclaimer of warranties and related issues
Various Authors, Creative Commons, November 28, 2012.

Cable Green writes, via email to a dozen or so mailing lists, "Creative Commons (CC) is in the final stages of preparing draft 3 of 4.0 for public comment.  I want to call your attention to an open proposal (not yet incorporated in the draft or in any way committed to by CC) that would benefit from your input at this time, as it would have the potential to impact the OER and OA communities if it advances. At issue is whether to require licensors to undertake an affirmative representation and warranty that they have secured all rights the work subject to the CC license." Personally, I'm opposed to the idea, because it just exposes people to the injustices of the legal system, while producing no particular benefit to creators or users.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Mailing Lists]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, November 28, 2012

Ed Radio for November 28, 2012 (yes, I'm back in the office)...

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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